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My make using a sewing pattern from Wendy Ward's 'The Beginner's Guide to Dressmaking'

I'm always striving to show our fabrics in the best way possible and what better than showing how they look made into garments! In the long list of things involved in running Faberwood, searching for new fabric lines, photographing, webstore running etc. I'm finding less time to actually sew anything. Each time we get something new in so many projects spring to my mind but that's just where they're staying, in my mind!

So, I started looking for a quick project, for our knits in particular. This is where I found Wendy Ward's book The Beginner's Guide to Dressmaking, I'd purchased this recently, Wendy being from our home city of Sheffield! OK I'm not a beginner at dressmaking, still there's always lots left to learn but I especially liked the idea of Wendy's simple sewing patterns that feature in this book. So here I have a couple of quick makes which I honestly spent just a couple of hours making, perfect for my predicament!

First I made a jersey version as this is what the pattern is designed for, my fabric choice our Fairy Tale Organic jersey knit from Finland. I'm wondering whether this fabric is freaking a few people out so I was desperate to get this sewn up to show that really it's quite pretty even though I don't do 'pretty'! In all it's quirkiness it just oozes Scandinavian style, designed by Sari Pelho it's her drawings on fabric, so Wendy's tee is perfect - the fabric just speaks for itself.

I particularly like the neck line on this tee, a boatneck style is my favourite but I'm not always that great at sewing them, especially in a stretch. The pattern is brilliantly shaped so that the seam sits really nice as you sew it together. I also found the sleeve shape fab in the way it forms as it's sewn - you end up with a finished project (you know that feeling when you've sewn up your stretch top and you're quite happy with it then sigh realising you now must tackle stretch hemming!) with this the sleeves are all finished in one clean swoop, awesome!

Finally, even though I do own a serger, I wanted to make this completely on a regular sewing machine. Dispelling the myth, that you need a serger/overlocker to sew stretch fabrics, this is all done with a very small zig-zag stitch and on this fabric it worked brilliantly. I also think when it comes to sewing knits it helps having good quality fabric to start with but, then again, I'm bound to say that!

I have a few links to share on sewing knits, plus where you can find Wendy's book:

Wendy Ward all my sewing with knits tutorial guides all in one place

The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking by Wendy Ward


Now for my woven version...!

To carry on with the 'quick sew' theme, I decided to finally play with these diamonds! I used our French fabric Ma Riviere de Diamants by Aime Comme Marie due to it's light weight qualities that works for this sewing pattern. I'd already sized up slightly with my stretch version because I wanted a loose casual fit so I made a few adjustments, with this not being a stretch fabric, adding around 2 cm extra down the side seams. Also I shortened the length by around an inch or so. The neck line is a little loose but I don't mind that, kind of a baggy shirt idea, I don't do collars! Plus, those sleeves? Love them!


If you're reading this and you're dreaming of making your own clothes but have never tried, I really recommend this style - plus who doesn't wear t-shirts? The book is a great place to start or you can check out some of Wendy's tutorials.

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